Craft villages set to embark on renaissance

Vietnam is seeking financial resources for preserving and developing craft villages across the country.

Under a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) approved programme, all economic sectors, domestic and foreign organisations are encouraged to participate in preserving and developing craft villages.

The programme’s funds will come from state budget, official development assistance and other legal sources.

The programme is aimed at developing craft villages, shifting rural economic structure, reducing poverty, creating jobs and bringing into play the national cultural characters in the process of industrialisation and modernisation and new rural development models.

According to the programme, by 2015 Vietnam will increase people’s income from non-agricultural activities by two to four times against pure agricultural production while fine arts and handicraft exports will grow 15-17 per cent per annum to reach $1.5 billion. This will also look to minimise environmental pollution at craft villages, particularly in food and foodstuff processing and metallurgy making villages.

Also, between 30 and 40 craft villages will be preserved while 50-70 new craft villages and craft villages related to tourism will be developed.

By 2020, the country targets to raise the rate of trained workers in rural areas to 80 per cent. Outbound handicraft and fine arts shipments are expected to climb 17-20 per cent annually to hit $2-2.5 billion. There will be no poor households in craft villages and environmental pollution will be controlled.

During this period, 455 craft villages are planned for preservation and 300 new craft villages and craft villages related to tourism will be developed.

The preservation and development plans of craft villages will be set in harmony with environment protection, promoting traditional cultural values under the principles of “preserve to develop” and “develop to preserve”.

Accordingly, traditional craft villages at risk of being lost will be restored and preserved. Besides, the country will boost traditional industries, focusing on developing products with high economic values, encouraging the spread of traditional industries to neighbouring areas. In addition, the country will develop craft villages in association with tourism development, setting up tours and tourist sites linked with craft villages. Craft villages of ethnic minorities will be also preserved and developed.

The programme is also aimed at developing new craft villages with focus on fine arts and handicraft villages, agro-forestry-fishery preserving and processing villages, bonsai and pet trading villages, small engineering villages and rural services providing villages.

The programme is developed and implemented in accordance with the rural industries development plans and the overall socio-economic development plans of each city and province, with the focus paid to preserving and developing craft villages, maintaining stable raw material supplies for the craft villages and ensuring environmental protection.

The column is cooperated by the MARD’s Investment Promotion Programme

Kieu Linh (